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The Case of Laminated Versus Double Glazed Glass Units

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Dear Glass Detective,

I am building a retirement home for my husband and I, and have had two quotes – one for laminated glass and the other for double glazed glass, the second one being more expensive. I do not understand the supplier’s explanation of the differences between the two. Could you help me please? Thank you so much!

-Ingrid H.

Johannesburg, South Africa



Thank you for contacting the Glass Detective with your question regarding the glass selection for the retirement home you are building for you and your husband. We may be mixing apples with oranges here.

Laminated glass can be used in double glazed windows as you call them. You see, one of the lites of glass in the double glazing could be laminated. These two types (approaches) are not mutually exclusive. If you intend to use just a single pane of glass, the laminated glass is an excellent choice. However, if you are thinking about using a double pane approach for energy conservation concerns, the double glazing approach might prove superior. The best of both worlds would be double glazing incorporating laminated glass into the double glazing assembly. I suggest you talk to a local glass shop with a good reputation about the performance characteristics of the approaches you are considering.

And yes, the double glazing is going to be a little more expensive but any husband worthy of getting a retirement home built for him by his wife certainly must be worth the additional expense…don’t you think? Thanks for contacting the Glass Detective and good luck with your project!

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Lyle Hill

Lyle Hill has been in the glass and metal industry for more than 40 years. In this time he has managed glass retail, contract glazing, mirror, architectural window, window film, and automotive glass businesses throughout America. He obtained an MBA from IIT with a focus on Technology and Engineering Management. Hill is also a columnist for glass industry trade magazines and often called the “face” of the glass industry. He has also authored books including “The Broken Tomato and Other Business Parables,” which is available through Amazon. Find out more about Lyle on Linkedin.

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10 Responses

  1. Thank you Glass Detective.

    This is the first explanation that is clear, concise and fully understandable !!!

    A great help in my choice. Now I feel I am making an informed decision.

    Truly appreciated.
    Ingrid. Jhb. SA

  2. Our house is about 50m from a busy road. We have 4 windows facing the road, 2 of which are bedrooms and 1 the lounge. When all is quiet inside, traffic noise is quite invasive. What would be your recommendation for reducing noise levels? We have evaporative air conditioning which relies on windows being open to work effectively.

    1. Hi Ginnie,

      If the windows could be closed all the time, laminated glass could help quite a bit, and laminated insulated glass even more so. However, having the windows open for your AC would negate any noise reduction. Heavy curtains might help a certain amount, but I suspect gains would be marginal.

  3. Our new house has a 5′ x 5′ arched transom above our master bedroom French doors, to open the space up and showcase a chandelier. To keep costs reasonable I would like to use a singe glass light and would like to incorporate some sound reduction properties. I am a light sleeper and would like to reduce media sounds, mechanical room noise, and house nighttime creaks, etc. Someone recommended laminated. Currently our work bid is for a single 1/4″ annealed glass. I have since asked for a laminated option on the estimate. Will this make a significant difference? Do you have any other economical suggestions before we proceed? Thanks, Annie

  4. I am struggling to find a supplier of laminated insulated glass patio doors. Any suggestions? I libe in Illinois.

  5. Hi …. I have a neighbours dog who constantly barks at night and he refuses to keep the dog inside. Will installing laminated glass in my bedroom block out the barking which is driving me mad.

    1. Hi Rita, it might not block out the noise completely, but depending on what kind of windows you currently have installed, it could certainly help. The amount of sound reduction will depend on a number of factors such as the decibel level of the barking, and if there are any other parts of the house leaking noise. Use to get in touch with a window and door replacement specialist in your area who can come out to your home to evaluate it in person– preferably when the dog is barking.

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